Curaçao isn’t just the bright blue liqueur mixed into your beachside drinks. Situated next to its “ABC” counterparts of Aruba and Bonaire, this Caribbean island is building a reputation as a wellness destination thanks to its trendy spas, abundance of nature and utilization of the land’s resources. Here’s how to spend an extended wellness weekend on this charming tropical isle.
Travel can be tough on your body, and you’re here to relax, right? Oasis Coral Estate Beach, Dive & Wellness Resort is home to 8 The Experience spa — and this place truly is an experience. Arrive early to treat yourself to a healing hot-cold combination. Start in the humid Tropical Steam Room, which improves circulation and clears congestion, or the Sahara Sauna, which relaxes and loosens muscles. Be sure to visit the Igloo afterward to close pores and bring down your body temperature.
Choose from a long list of specialized treatments employing Aveda products, like the chakra-balancing massage or the rosemary mint awakening body wrap. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary — and you’re not afraid to get a little sore — try the Thai massage. Dressed in workout attire, you’ll be bent, stretched and pushed past your limits, resulting in that post-yoga feeling. Afterward, luxuriate in the meditation pool overlooking the ocean or in the cliff-side Jacuzzis surrounded by botanicals.
Next, get your actual yoga on. Liberty Suares is the island’s resident yogi, specializing in standup paddleboard classes. She founded Curaçao’s first floating yoga studio, Dushi SUP. The gentle waves beneath you help you find stillness and peace of mind.
Curaçao is known for its massive aloe vera production. Take a trip to the Curaloe plantation in the capital city of Willemstad for a firsthand look at how 100,000-plus specimens are harvested and made into natural, organic and raw products that are sent all over the world. Islanders swear by this cure-all plant to treat everything from sunburns to bug bites to upset stomachs.
Den Paradera, meaning “the place where you feel at home,” is herbalist Dinah Veeris’s must-visit botanic garden. A household name across Curaçao, she grows more than 200 different plant species, and every single one has a purpose. Veeris sees clients by appointment to treat them holistically using ingredients straight from the land. She also has a shop with homemade oils, soaps and teas for you to take home to continue your wellness journey.
The Instagram-worthy views are bountiful here, and the best place from which to admire them is atop one of the island’s climbable formations. Lace up your tennis shoes and hike to the top of Mount Christoffel, Curaçao’s highest peak. As one of its many amenities, the four-star Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort offers guided hikes throughout its 2,000-plus-acre property. A knowledgeable guide will lead you up the best path, pointing out wildlife and identifying plant species along the way. Once you take in the views from the peak, you’ll see why you traveled to Curaçao.